After a successful inaugural event in 2017, the Tenchfishers (TF) found themselves invited back by Farnham Angling Society (FAS) in 2018 to hold another tench teach-in at Summer Pit, in Surrey. This is part of the famous Yately complex and FAS has invested considerably in this water through both stocking and land management.
The teach-in was the brainchild of FAS and TF members. We were all ably supported by the FAS chairman and their head bailiff and his team. The TF also contributed by providing equipment and bait.
About a month before the event the Facebook Messenger group was resurrected and arrangements to ‘tidy up’ the camp area and swims were made. Presentation responsibilities were finalised, and admin tasks such as creating agendas, and equipment provision such as trestle tables, water tanks and the gazebo were allocated. I offered to do a talk on heli-rigs and I contacted Korum to see if they would be happy to provide a few freebies and they generously supported us by donating some ‘Ready-heli-rigs’ packs, feeder line and some brochures FoC. Happy with our progress we all eagerly awaited the weekend of 7/8th July.
We all arrived on Saturday and made our way to the HQ camp. Some of the guys were already busy and some students were already in attendance as I arrived. I was last at Summer Pit a year ago and the lake had improved immensely. More light, less jungle, neat swims and a lot of fish activity. Participant turnout was excellent with only one late drop out. We were pleased at the numbers for as well as the ‘normal’ challenges such as weather, fish and attendees, we were also competing with the 2018 Football World Cup.
You will probably remember the sweltering summer this year (aside from England making it through to the semis). Even in the early morning, the sun was intense and we were all grateful for the shade of the gazebo as we started the presentations. After the introductions and safety stuff, we started off speaking on rigs, floating maggots and in particular, the invention the T-rig. As usual this seemed to fascinate the attendees and each attendee was given a pre-tied T-rig. A lot of questions followed and once completed it was my turn. I was presenting on the heli-rig and attendee knowledge ran from experienced to ‘never used it’. We followed this up speaking about casters, PVA rigs, inline feeders and maggots. Some water tanks had been brought along so it was possible to view how the rigs behave underwater – again the attendees were fascinated. A further presentation followed on the Mohican rig and many other technical aspects of fishing. But the prize for detail probably was for the presentation that delivered some great information on float fishing, at the end of which everyone was given a full end set up including a Drennan float with written instructions on the technique.
Freebies were taken and bait given out the attendees drew their swims and headed off. With 32°C heat it was always going to be tough going during the day. A few small fish were caught including some nice rudd, some small roach and perch but no tincas. We all spent time with the attendees, illustrating how to feature find, answering questions and advising where asked. At 15:00 a few of the TFs and attendees headed over to a local pub to watch England play Sweden.
Elated and ‘re-hydrated’, following the match we returned to the lake. FAS kindly supplied a fish n chip supper, after which we touched base with the attendees and then settled in for the evening. We all had high hopes that the fish would come on the feed as it cooled but even at 19:00, it was still too hot to remain in the sun for too long.
About 20:30 an alarm went off and the first tench was landed. It went to FAS member and weighed in at just over 5lbs 8oz. Fantastic to see the first of our target species landed.
Early next morning I returned to the lake to hear good news. A number of tench had been caught overnight including some PBs. We ended the teach-in with prize giving whilst asking for feedback. Three weed rakes were given as prizes for the most fish caught (5 Tench) and the largest Tench (5-08), but unfortunately no one caught on the float.
In total 13 tench were caught along with numbers of silvers and the feedback on the teach in was very positive. Subsequently the participants posted on the FAS facebook page several extremely positive comments of the new pb’s caught on the rigs we presented. some have since gone on to fish other lakes and have had success. We all get a buzz when these comments are made and it shows the TF has made a significant contribution to the tench fishing and education to one of the biggest clubs in the country.
Credit has to be given to FAS, who seem to be leading the way in educating their members on a number of fronts as well as its openness in not pursuing a ‘Carp is king’ edict. Although it involves giving up a bit of personal time, participating in these events is highly rewarding and I always learn something that will develop me as angler. After all rubbing shoulders with such fantastic TF anglers, who wouldn’t?
The TF has been invited to repeat the event next year and in between we will review what worked, what could be done better and dissect the feedback from the teach-in so we can improve things. The TF also benefits from being involved in such activities, and as usual we gained a number of new members following the teach-in as well as a raised profile. All in all it was a pleasure to be part of it and long may it continue.